There were plenty of emotions on the field for Valley City State Universityâ€™s home finale Wednesday, a double header sweep of Bemidji State (Minn.) University.
There was the joy of the wins â€” 8-3 in game one, 4-1 in game two â€” but also plenty of tears shed as the teamâ€™s group of seniors took the field one last time and were given framed jerseys as a keepsake.
When all was said and done, though, it wasnâ€™t a bad way to go out.
The team got its wins. The senior hitters got their hits, and the senior pitching duo of Jen Shadlock and Katie McBride had little trouble getting it done on the mound.
â€śIf you want to win one on senior day, the last one is the one you want to win, obviously, but we were able to get two,â€ť VCSU coach Chad Slyter said. â€śThings are falling into place and weâ€™re playing our best softball at the end of the year which is what we want to be doing.â€ť
The Vikings were in the groove from the start.
After a scoreless top of the first inning, the Vikingsâ€™ top four hitters all reached base. The first two were driven in by four-spot hitter Emma Nelson on a double to left field.
Jane Pettit then drove in another run to take a 3-0 lead.
VCSU scored another in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Shadlock, the starter in the game, struggled in the top of the fifth and allowed three runs, but the Vikings came right back in the bottom half with six hits for four runs.
The Vikings eventually finished the game with 13 hits, including a combined seven from seniors Cyndi Figol, Emma Nelson, and Jane Pettit.
Savannah McMillan also went 2-3 with two RBI. Shadlock got the win, allowing seven hits with one strikeout.
In the second game, McBride took the mound and consistently found ways to fool the Beavers. She finished the complete game with 12 strikeouts and only three hits allowed, among her best statistical games of the the season.
â€śMy curve ball was working and coach was calling it,â€ť McBride said. â€śThen they were having trouble laying off the rise a little bit so that was something that we kind of decided to keep throwing in there, keep mixing it up and keeping them off balance as much as possible.â€ť
Bemidji took the lead scoring a single run in the top of the fourth inning, but Vikings responded with five hits, including a two RBI single by Adrianna Boychuk.
Boychuk led the Vikings with three hits.
VCSU finishes the season this weekend with the Dakota Athletic Conference tournament in Mayville.